- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
- Date Filed: 09-22-2021
- Case #: A165216
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Shorr, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & James, J.
- Full Text Opinion
The Willmses sued AmeriTitle for fraud and violations of the Oregon Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (ORICO). AmeriTitle appealed a jury verdict in favor of The Willmses on both claims. On appeal, AmeriTitle assigned error to the trial court’s denial of a motion for directed verdict and improper jury instructions and argued that the failure to instruct the jury on the differing statute of limitations that applied to the ORICO claim was a reversible error. The Willmses argued that the error was harmless and unpreserved. [T]he statute of limitations for civil ORICO claims under ORS 166.725(11)(a) is five years, but the action can be brought either five years “after the conduct in violation [of ORICO] terminates” or within five years after the action “accrues.” The Court rejected the preservation and harmlessness arguments and held that the question of when the statute of limitations tolls is one for the jury. Therefore, since the trial court instructed the jury that the same statute of limitations applied to both claims, the jury was unable to make the determination for itself. On appeal, reversed and remanded as to plaintiffs’ ORICO claim, otherwise affirmed; cross-appeal dismissed as moot.